Redbridge Council has – sort of – backed down over its unconsulted parking plans which would have dramatically changed parking rules across Wanstead.
The council is reducing the area which will be subject to residents’ restrictions, and it now intends to do a consultation on the plans. The start of the scheme will be delayed for a month until March while this takes place.
Under the revised plans, pay and display restrictions will still apparently be introduced on the High Street, but residents’ restrictions will now not be introduced on roads south of Redbridge Lane West (Warren Road, St Mary’s Ave and Overton Drive and others). A statement published on the council website says: “Other roads such as Grove Park and The Avenue are now proposed to have a mixture of pay and display and residents’ permit spaces.”
No further detail is given, but the new plan will be delayed while consultation takes place. Cllr John Howard, responsible for the scheme, said: “We’ve come at this project with an open mind. We want to find a parking solution that is right for the area, that deals with the present and future pressures on parking spaces but also takes into account the needs of businesses, residents and shoppers. As part of our continued commitment to listen to our residents we will once again be writing to people in the affected area and making them aware of the changes.”
Opposition to the council’s scheme was mounting, with 2,281 people signing a petition demanding proper consultation take place.
Wansteadium readers have been at the forefront of tackling the process the council was using.
- Reader ArrGee pointed out that the council was breaching its own parking strategy document which committed it to “provide a fair and consistent approach to the way we manage parking, while sustaining long term economic, social, and environmental well-being for everyone.”
- Reader Fin highlighted that a House of Commons Briefing Note SN6013 said that traffic regulation orders “(whether temporary, experimental or permanent) are only to be used for single streets (not more widely)“.
- Fin also pointed out that secretary of state guidance on the Right to Challenge Parking Policies states: “[P]arking strategies cannot simply be about restricting parking. They need to meet the best interests of road users, communities and businesses. Inappropriate parking rules, over-zealous enforcement and high parking charges drive people out of town centres, push up the cost of living, harm local shops and make it harder for people to park responsibly and go about their everyday lives.” It adds: “[L]ocal traffic authorities should consult as widely as is necessary to ensure that all of those affected by the orders have the opportunity to comment…by putting in place a petition scheme that allows people and businesses to raise petitions about the parking restrictions in place for a specified location”.
Some of these points were included in a motion tabled for discussion by the Conservative group at next week’s full council meeting which reads in part: “This Council further agrees to request Cabinet to ensure that all future parking schemes will involve full consultation as outlined in the Parking Strategy and that it will not in the future use the device of a ‘experimental scheme’ to circumvent the requirement for consultation with local residents.”
Leaders of the parking action group will now need to take stock over the revised proposals and see whether they meet their demands over consultation.